Family Friendly Lake District Walks

Family Friendly Lake District Walks

The last time we went to the Lake District I was pregnant, so we’d been eager to return with Finn for ages. We finally managed to fit in a family camping trip last week and, despite the fact we couldn’t do everything we would have done pre-parenthood,  we all had a fantastic time!

In the past we would have headed for the hills and planned a few full day hikes. This time, however, we set our sights a little lower. Since we’re both busy working full time (and I work weekends), our opportunities for walking, and keeping fit in general, have been few and far between this year. Add in the fact that Luke also has to carry Finn, we really didn’t feel up to any long, challenging hikes.

Before we left I downloaded the full Lake District OS map onto my viewranger account, so that I could access it on my phone and tablet. I also downloaded a couple of routes, however these turned out to be a little beyond our capabilities, so I planned a couple of easy walks. It can sometimes be difficult to find family friendly walks in hilly areas, however the Lakes also provide plenty of flat, accessible outings suitable for little legs and pushchairs.

Walk 1: Derwent Water, pushchair friendly 

For this easy 1.3 mile walk, we parked in the lakeside car park in Keswick (CA12 5DJ) and headed towards Derwent Water. There are toilets and a National Trust shop and information point here

We followed the signposted path to the viewpoint of Friars Crag.

A map of our route



It was a cloudy day, but thankfully the rain held off


The view across Derwent Water from Friars Crag.


The shores of Derwent, with the distinctive ridge of Catbells in the background

Once we reached the shores of the Lake, we turned left and headed up through Cockshot Wood and back to the car park.

Walk 2: Derwent Water Family Friendly Walk

For our second walk, we headed to the other side of the lake. We parked in the small car park on the road towards Skelgill (it gets busy so I advise you get there early!) in the shadow of Catbells. In the past we may well have headed up to the summit towering over us, but these days we prefer gentler strolls. We headed down towards the water, and flatter terrain, for a gentle 3 mile circular stroll.

Lake District Family Walk

Here is the route of our family friendly walk as uploaded to Viewranger

It had rained all morning, so I set out with my big backpack with waterproofs and spare clothes for us all. I needn’t have bothered, the sun came out and it was a glorious day!


Gorgeous views across Derwent


Luke and Finn enjoying the vista

We walked through Brandelhow woods down to the water’s edge. Here we had a quick break, took some photos and enjoyed the views all around us. We then walked along the lake and back to our starting point.

We were videoed by Viewranger during this walk as part of a series showing people using their app, so here’s a little peek at how we plan our walks.

We may have only done a quick circuit, but there are so many options for longer, and hillier, walks if you fancy something more challenging!




  • Zoe at Splodz Blogz Zoe at Splodz Blogz September 09, at 08:46

    These look like a couple of great little routes. It’s important to remember you don’t have to be on the most difficult terrain or walk for hours and hours to make the most of the outdoors 🙂

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 11, at 07:42

      Definitely! Long hikes and big hills are beyond us for a while, but adventures can be small and still fun!

  • Loving your pictures, and I sometimes have to remind myself that a shore walk can still be a very enjoyable thing to do!

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 11, at 07:41

      Yeah, we’ve finally realised that we can’t do everything we want to do, but can still have fun! As long as we’re outside it’s all good!

  • Iona Iona September 09, at 17:21

    The views across Derwent look stunning – I’d love to go walking someday in the Lake District! Great post 🙂

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 11, at 07:40

      I heartily recommend it! Such gorgeous landscapes and clean air. I can’t wait to go back again!

  • They look like some lovely walks, it has been many years since I went to Derwent water, and the lakes as a whole, must head back up there soon.

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 11, at 07:39

      We had a great couple of days up there. It’s been awhile for us too, really mustn’t leave it so long next time!

  • Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) September 14, at 13:30

    Things definitely change when you have little ones to consider don’t they! We are going to the lakes next spring so am going to pin this to check out then, they sound doable with our 4 and 2 yr old too! Xx #whatevertheweatherkids

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 18, at 21:36

      They are definitely doable with kids, there’s so many options for amazing walks up there. I can’t wait to go back!

  • Alana - Burnished Chaos Alana - Burnished Chaos September 16, at 09:31

    Great pictures. I love the Lake District but haven’t been on a walk there in ages, will have to add it to the to do list x

  • pattertravelers pattertravelers September 19, at 05:13

    It doesn’t take them as long as you think to get them going with you. My boys run ahead (stop at every divide in the trail) as I try to keep up!. #whatevertheweather

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 22, at 15:09

      I can imagine, Finn is already pretty speedy, it’s a great workout though!

  • islandliving365 islandliving365 September 19, at 08:17

    I love the Lake District. Looks like some fab and family friendly walks to do there. Also love your pictures #MondayEscapes

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 19, at 08:21

      Ah thanks! It’s such a beautiful part of the world, even I can take some decent pics there!

  • Trish @ Mum's Gone To Trish @ Mum's Gone To September 19, at 15:00

    Just look at those views – magnificent. It’s been a few years since we’ve been to the Lakes (I used to go more when I was child living in the North East – easier to cross country and visit).
    Working out walks that will suit everyone is difficult: I think you got this spot on for little Finn.

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 21, at 06:36

      Thanks, it really is stunning up there. I think I’ve just about mastered keeping everyone happy on walks-for now!

  • tinboxtraveller tinboxtraveller September 19, at 18:30

    You picked a great spot for your walks. We took ur caravan to Derwent Water when Tin Box Tot was six months old and managed to walk all the way into Keswick with our pushchair. You’ve given me an urge to book a break in the Lakes! Thanks so much for linking up with the new #MondayEscapes! Hope to see you again next time ?

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 21, at 06:36

      We had a great time, such a lovely place for a family break. I’ll be back next time!

  • Notmyyearoff Notmyyearoff September 19, at 19:51

    Ahhhhh thank you!! You may have read my mind as I really want to go for a huge walk in the lakes but we have a pushchair and I just wasn’t sure about where to go. I’m going to bookmark this 🙂

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 21, at 06:37

      There’s lots of places for pushchair friendly walks, my tip is stick to round the lakes as it’s flat and there’s usually a decent path!

  • jennyeaves jennyeaves September 20, at 22:32

    Love the video of your family planning the walk and hiking! We will hopefully visit the lakes for a little holiday next year, so I’ll remember to check your posts then for ideas. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  • pottyadventures pottyadventures September 21, at 20:04

    Lovely walks and photos. I’ve literally just opened a view ranger account about 2 weeks ago and I’m still getting to grips with it. I thought I’d sorted it and then I’d obviously done something wrong because it wasn’t recording. I need to sit down and work it out because it looks great.
    Potty Adventures

    • TheHelpfulHiker TheHelpfulHiker September 22, at 06:21

      Viewranger is awesome, I’m sure you’ll find it really helpful. I’m not an expert and haven’t worked out all the functions yet! If you’re struggling, ask viewranger, they are all fab and very friendly!


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